Five tips to support movement as a vegan: nurturing mental well-being through active living

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» Five tips to support movement as a vegan: nurturing mental well-being through active living

In today’s modern world, the need for movement has never been greater

Movement supports not just our physical fitness but, equally as important; our mental well-being. If you’ve struggled with your mental health, you may be familiar with the guidance often given towards exercise to alleviate symptoms – but this doesn’t have to be strenuous. That’s why this Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re supporting the theme of “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”. In this blog, we’ll explore five ways you can support movement as a vegan. 

Person walking through a parkConsider nutrition 

Movement can take many forms – it could include going for a walk in local green spaces with your companion animals or joining a local park run. If you’re looking for lower-impact ways of moving, you might find a local swimming bath or yoga class appealing; take a look at the yoga mats and mat cleaner registered with our Vegan Trademark. Whatever you choose, you may wonder how to better fuel a more active lifestyle. 

Check out our Dietitian’s guidance on getting the most out of your nutrition, or our nutritional tips for active vegans blog. If you already have high activity levels, then find out how to support more intense activities aimed at athletes. This healthy plant-based breakfasts blog shares tips on ensuring your first meal of the day is balanced, including ten ideas! 

variety of healthy vegan dishes

Connect with vegans 

Vegan Society Ambassador, Fiona Oakes, runningIn recent years, getting out to meet new people has become challenging for many, but it is a great way to move – it doesn’t always have to involve exercise; it can involve delicious food, too! A good way to do this is by exploring online groups such as local Facebook Groups,; and apps like Bumble BFF and vegan dating app, Grazer (as discussed in episode 1 of The Vegan Pod). 

Through these avenues, you could find local running groups, such as Vegan Runners (co-founded by our Ambassador, Fiona Oakes). If you need some inspiration, explore one vegan's journey from realising they were obese to later supporting The Vegan Society by running in the London Marathon. 

You can also find vegan groups that may do regular meetups to try local vegan food, this can help with any vystopia you may experience. Search for your area or city and the word ‘vegan’, such as ‘Oxford Vegan’. You can also search by other interests, such as local walking/hiking groups and open water swimming. Check out our vegan’s guide to ethical swimming.

Find vegan activewear 

By now, you probably have lots of ideas and inspiration on how to embrace movement. If you already have activewear, that’s perfect – but, if you’re looking for vegan options, plenty are available! 

Charity shops are a great place to start if you’re on a budget. Activewear can often come with a hefty price tag when bought new. You may also want to reduce your carbon footprint by shopping second-hand and locally, saving more clothes from ending up in disadvantaged countries or landfill. Our ten ways to shop sustainably blog explores other ways you can save money whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

Get the lowdown on vegan shoes – popular brands registered with our trusted Vegan Trademark include Animal, Gola, Superdry and New Look, you can also visit our fashion and textiles statistics page, which mentions brands that have switched to plant-based materials. There are vegan versions of just about any gear you can think of – you can even get vegan boxing gloves! Read our 17 vegan products for your outdoor adventure this summer blog for essentials that will aid a walk.  

Make movement accessible 

Movement isn’t always easy for everyone, and it’s important to listen to your body and move at your own pace. Considerations such as chronic illness, injury, disability, or age can influence your approach to a more active lifestyle. 

Our blog on ‘Veganism and Chronic Illness’ touches on the need to be more aware of nutrition for people with chronic illness, beyond general guidance for vegans. Our Dietitians offer guidance for nutrition related queries, and if you are a member of The Vegan Society, you can contact them directly via the Nutrition Hub in the Members' Area of our website; but if you have any health concerns and are thinking of starting a new exercise routine, it's best to speak with your doctor first. 

Your age also impacts where you may need to focus on nutrition and our life stage resources provide nutritional guidance for every stage of life. Our vegan over 60 blog also features lived experiences alongside five top tips for supporting a healthy lifestyle as you get older. Consider what types of movement will work best for you if you have an injury or disability. This Mental Health Awareness Week, our HR Manager, Lucy, held a chair yoga class for staff – a great option if your movement is limited. 

Person stretching outdoorsBe mindful of the environment 

As vegans, it’s important to consider the environment we move in. Many people who choose this lifestyle do so because they care about the environment and the non-human animals who inhabit it. 

When engaging in outdoor activities, follow the principles of “Leave No Trace” to minimise your impact on natural spaces. Opt for green transportation, like biking or walking, wherever possible to further reduce your environmental footprint. 

If you live in a closer-knit community then you could organise or get involved with litter picking activities in the local area, or at nearby parks and beaches. This can be a great way to combine movement and socialisation with environmental stewardship. 

Getting out into the garden can also be beneficial without involving lots of exercise, and if you plant flowers, you’ll be supporting bees! Have a look at our recent blog that suggests vegan gardening products for you to try while we’re experiencing beautiful spring weather. 

Two people gardening We hope these tips are useful for as many people as possible. If you think we’ve missed anything or want to share your own tips, find us on Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn and TikTok, and leave us a comment. If you’d liked this blog, you may also enjoy our blog on Veganism and Anxiety, which explores a vegan’s experience with anxiety and ways to look after your mental health. Good luck with your movement journey – and don’t forget to stretch! 

By Jennifer Jones, Senior Digital Content Officer 

The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.

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